Mishpatim: Follow the Leader

January 24, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"Do not be a follower of the majority for bad, do not respond to a grievance by yielding to the majority to pervert [justice]" (Shemot 23:2). In the next verse we read "Do not favour the poor". Today's world so often supports the underdog en masse, regardless of the validity of their claim. While such sentiments may be well-intentioned, it does not make them right, regardless of how many people back it. While...
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Mishpatim: More Than Slavery

February 17, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
While there are various themes that run throughout Sefer Shemot, that of slavery is perhaps the central one. This notion is presented, with differing foci, throughout the book and actually carries over to the remaining books of the Chumash. Sefer Shemot opens by describing the descent of the Jewish people into slavery. A once proud and powerful family has become a nameless, faceless and powerless supplier of forced labor. The image of...
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Mishpatim: It's Not Who You Know

January 29, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Knowing the right people is, more often than not, the key to success in the modern world. We in North America refer to “connections”, but in Israel it's called by a less diplomatic but more honest name, protektzia.While this is true in almost all aspects of life, it is especially true when one is faced with legal troubles. Having the financial means to hire right lawyer can make all the difference between time in jail and...
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